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Articles by James I. Mullins
Total Records ( 2 ) for James I. Mullins
  Jianhong Cao , John McNevin , Matthew McSweyn , Yi Liu , James I. Mullins and M. Juliana McElrath
  Cytolytic T lymphocytes (CTL) play a major role in controlling human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. To evade immune pressure, HIV-1 is selected at targeted CTL epitopes, which may consequentially alter viral replication fitness. In our longitudinal investigations of the interplay between T-cell immunity and viral evolution following acute HIV-1 infection, we observed in a treatment-naïve patient the emergence of highly avid, gamma interferon-secreting, CD8+ CTL recognizing an HLA-Cw*0102-restricted epitope, NSPTRREL (NL8). This epitope lies in the p6Pol protein, located in the transframe region of the Gag-Pol polyprotein. Over the course of infection, an unusual viral escape mutation arose within the p6Pol epitope through insertion of a 3-amino-acid repeat, NSPT(SPT)RREL, with a concomitant insertion in the p6Gag late domain, PTAPP(APP). Interestingly, this p6Pol insertion mutation is often selected in viruses with the emergence of antiretroviral drug resistance, while the p6Gag late-domain PTAPP motif binds Tsg101 to permit viral budding. These results are the first to demonstrate viral evasion of immune pressure by amino acid insertions. Moreover, this escape mutation represents a novel mechanism whereby HIV-1 can alter its sequence within both the Gag and Pol proteins with potential functional consequences for viral replication and budding.
  Mia Coetzer , Rebecca Nedellec , Janelle Salkowitz , Sherry McLaughlin , Yi Liu , Laura Heath , James I. Mullins and Donald E. Mosier
  The envelope gene (env) of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) undergoes rapid divergence from the transmitted sequence and increasing diversification during the prolonged course of chronic infection in humans. In about half of infected individuals or more, env evolution leads to expansion of the use of entry coreceptor from CCR5 alone to CCR5 and CXCR4. The stochastic nature of this coreceptor switch is not well explained by host selective forces that should be relatively constant between infected individuals. Moreover, differences in the incidence of coreceptor switching among different HIV-1 subtypes suggest that properties of the evolving virus population drive the switch. We evaluated the functional properties of sequential env clones from a patient with evidence of coreceptor switching at 5.67 years of infection. We found an abrupt decline in the ability of viruses to use CCR5 for entry at this time, manifested by a 1- to 2-log increase in susceptibility to CCR5 inhibitors and a reduced ability to infect cell lines with low CCR5 expression. There was an abnormally rapid 5.4% divergence in env sequences from 4.10 to 5.76 years of infection, with the V3 and V4/V5 regions showing the greatest divergence and evidence of positive selection. These observations suggest that a decline in the fitness of R5 virus populations may be one driving force that permits the emergence of R5X4 variants.
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